Monday, June 28, 2010

Post Without a Title

I couldn't think of a clever title for this post, so it will be title-less, if that is even a word.  I'm too tired to figure it out right now, so it is what it is.  heehee!

I have wanted to stamp almost every day for the last week, but nothing spoke to me.  I decided I was going to stamp something tonight even if it wasn't post worthy.  Just to get myself back in the groove.  Summer is always a difficult time for me to keep up with stamping every day.  We are so busy with activities during the day that I usually want to just sit and do nothing after the kids are tucked in for the night.  All the bickering and whining takes its toll on my poor feeble brain.

My card turned out to be worthy of a blog post (I think), and here it is...

The squares were punched from some of the Twinkling H20s papers I had previously made, and I just happened to have dragonfly brads in similar colors.  This card was not planned in any way.  It just came together.  Don't you just love it when that happens?!

Supplies used:
Stamps - teeny tiny wishes
Paper - GKD PL white, watercolor paper
Ink - Memento black
Accessories - Twinkling H2Os, paint brush, 1 1/4" square punch, corner rounder, 1/16" hole punch, dragonfly brads, dimensionals, SAMJ

Do you ever have to force yourself to be creative?  Or is your mojo always in high gear?  Sometimes I think I have so many options between all my stamps, color choices, embellishments, and all the 'stuff', that I become overwhelmed and can't be creative.  I tend to make a lot of 'challenge' cards, but even then sometimes I hit a wall.  Then this card happened.  I still don't know where it came from, but I'm glad I forced myself to stamp tonight; I think it turned out pretty good.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Family Just Got Bigger

We have been pet free for almost a year now after losing both our doggies in the past two years.  My son is allergic to dogs (as am I), so we have been thinking about getting a kitten for a few months.  I have never owned a cat, and everyone I talk to says cats are so easy...much easier than dogs.  Well, if you've never owned a cat, it doesn't seem so easy.  Especially after owning dogs.  You can't even compare the two.

I checked out some books from the library, and have been reading up on becoming a cat owner.  Even then, I had a ton of questions.  For instance, what kind of litter do I buy?  Remember my rant about toothpaste?  Cat litter is worse!  You can buy for single or multiple cats, clumping or not, immediate odor eliminator or continuous odor eliminator (why wouldn't you want both?), with baking soda or without, 100% recycled paper with or without odor eliminator...and the list goes on!  So I did what I had to do and bought the cheapest one I could find.  I hope they use it.  (oops!  Did I just say "they"?)

Then you need to get a litter box to put the litter in.  Have you ever shopped for a litter box?  Once again you (or at least I)  have too many choices.  There is everything from a plain Rubbermaid box for $9.99, to the Taj Mahal...a covered box with a built in replaceable odor eliminating filter.  I didn't even look at the price on that one.  I didn't even want to know.  So just how bad does this cat poo smell?  Do I need the odor eliminating litter and the odor eliminating filter?  I guess I'll find out.  I didn't buy a litter box; I am using a plastic basin I get for free from the operating room until I can decide on the perfect kitty throne.

I'm not even going to go there with the food.  I just grabbed a bag of name brand kitten food.  They'll eat if they're hungry, right?

So, are you ready to meet the kritters?

This is Moonshine.  I think.  We haven't decided on names yet.  Moonbeam?  What do you think we should call her?

Here she is on her new kitty bed.  The bed wasn't such a hard choice.  The kids picked it out!

And this is...          .   We have no clue what to call her.  Crumb Cake? Is that an appropriate name for a cat, or is it better suited to cardstock?  Our neighbor suggested Whiskey, but I wasn't going for the alcohol theme with Moonshine.  I was thinking about the earth's moon that is grey and white.  Can you think of a good name for her?

She is a real sweetie, and probably the more mellow of the two.  I fell in love with her face when I saw her on the adoption web site, and knew that she would be mine.

After we brought them home, we put them in a safe room so they could adjust to their new environment.  We left and went to the pep rally for the swim team up at the pool, and when we got back, this is what they were doing...

What cats do best.  Sleeping.  I loved how they were both cuddled up with each other in the same bed even though we got two beds and had them both in the room.  They are going to be so much fun, and will get more love than they know what to do with.

If you can think of any names for them, we will consider any and all suggestions, and I'll let you know what our final decisions are.  Any tips about owning cats are welcomed, too.  (They will be strictly indoor cats since the foxes live too close for comfort.)



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I finally got to stamp today!  Yea!  Things were a little crazy and I didn't feel much like stamping after Drennen's accident last week, and then we took a mini vacation to Florida for a few days and just got home last night.  I was aching to try some of my new goodies from SU! so I used two of the new core colors on this card that I made for Susan's OLW challenge this week to use a flourish.

This picture does not do these colors justice.  Cherry cobbler is not as blue as it looks in the picture, and daffodil delight is more of a golden yellow.  They are much more vibrant IRL.

You probably can't tell by the picture, but I embossed the flowers and sentiment.  You'll just have to take my word for it when I say this card is much prettier when you hold it in your own two hands.  It is a 4 1/4" square card.

Supplies used:
Stamps - Baroque motifs, Inkadinkado sentiment
Paper - Daffodil delight
Ink - Daffodil delight, cherry cobbler, versamark
Accessories - clear EP, heat gun, half pearls

Thanks, Susan, for providing me with a challenge that was easy enough to get me back in the saddle!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Tragedy

I haven't posted anything for a while because a friend of mine lost her 12 year old son in a tragic swimming pool accident a few days ago.  It was such a shock to all of us, and we are just taking one day at a time. 

Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  They will need a lot of strength to make it through this.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Foam Board Copic Storage

I'm back with the dimensions and directions for my Copic marker cubbies.

Supplies - foam board (1) 20" x 30"
                craft knife and extra blades
                quilting ruler(s) and cutting mat
                hot glue gun and glue sticks (high temp)

outside dimensions - 14"H x 4 1/4"W x 5 1/2"D
side panels - 5 1/2" x 14" (cut 2)
shelves - 4 1/4" x 5" (cut 6)
top - 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" (cut 1)
bottom trim strip 1/2" x 4 1/8" (cut 1)

In order for the shelves to tilt back so the markers will stay in place, I offset the front and back measurements by 1/2".  The spacing between the shelves is 2 1/4".

Cut slots a little less than 3/16" wide and 5" long for the shelves to fit into on each side panel.  Remember to make the slots mirror images of each other.  Trim 3/16" of foam off the top edge for the top to fit into.

This is the right side panel.  The left side will be a mirror image.

Once all your slots are cut out, you can begin assembling.  Glue one shelf at a time onto one of the side panels.

This is the left side panel with the shelves in place.  Notice the top edge with the foam removed on the left side of the picture.  Doing this gives a nice finished look to the corners.

To attach the second side panel, I started each shelf about an inch into its slot, then ran a bead of glue in the remainder of each slot, and quickly slid the panel into place.  You must act quickly when glueing several edges at once.

Glue the top on, and if you want a finished look, a little trim strip on the bottom shelf.

Here are the finished cubbies.  (You can stop counting my Copics now.  heehee!  How do you know I don't have more?) 

I made two of these to hold all my Copics.  (As soon as I finished these, I ordered more.  Yes, I have a problem.)  Each shelf will hold 26 (maybe 27) sketch markers.  You could easily make it just a touch wider (1/2" wider would let you store 4 more markers on each shelf) to customize it to your marker collection.  I'm thinking I should have made mine bigger!

You may be able to make both cubbies out of one piece of foam board.  I used some scraps from my ink pad holder, and almost a whole new piece, so I'm not sure if it equals out.  I would buy 2 pieces to begin with, because I know you will want to make more projects!

Please see my foam board ink pad holder post for more details and tips.  If you make either one of these, or any other foam board projects, let me know.  I would love to see what you make!

And just because...  The content of this post is copyrighted by Karen Church, 2010.  Please feel free to use it to make your own projects, but please don't copy or sell it for your own profit.  Thanks.

Have fun!  Once you make one foam board project, you are sure to make more!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Foam Board Project Dimensions

Ok, ladies, here are my dimensions.

Ink Pad Holder

supplies needed - foam board (4 pieces) 20" x 30", 3/16" thick
                           craft knife and several extra blades
                           quilting ruler(s) and cutting pad
                           hot glue gun and glue sticks (high temp)
                           lots of patience!

outer dimensions -  15"H x 24"W x 5"D
shelves - 3 3/4"D x 24" L (cut 12 (or 13 if you don't need a taller space at the bottom for daubers))
vertical supports - 1 1/4" x 13 3/4" (cut 5)  This is the right measurement.  I didn't cut channels in the bottom of the top shelf, so they don't need to be 14" unless you cut the channels.
left and right sides - 5" x 15" (cut 2)
top and bottom - 5" x 24" (cut 2)
back - 15" x 24" (cut 1)

You can obviously customize this to make it bigger or smaller.  For each horizontal row, add or subtract 1"; for each vertical column, add or subtract 4".  All other measurements should stay the same.

The shelves aren't as deep as the outer sides because I wanted the edge of the ink pad to stick out a little from the shelf.  This leaves a little space between the pads and I think it makes it easier to remove them.

Using my quilting ruler, I drew pencil lines starting from one edge 3 3/4" long and 1" apart on each side panel.  (If you want to make the shelf on top to hold reinkers, cut the top slot all the way from the front to the back.  This is where the 'top' piece goes.  If you don't want the top shelf, make your sides 1" shorter.)  Then I cut a slot with a craft knife a little less than 3/16" wide centered over each line.  This allows for a snug fit, and in my opinion, requires less glue to hold it together.  You can 'feel' how deep you make the cut, and just don't want to go through the back side of the foamboard.    Once my slots were cut, I used a jewelry tweezer to slide along the bottom of the foam to remove it from the back side of the paper.  You could use a small flat head screwdriver to do this, but I was lazy and didn't want to go to the garage to find one.  Anything that is dull and about 3/16" wide will work.  You can test your first slot by sticking the shelf in it to see how snug the fit is.  Then adjust your slot width if necessary.  Also make sure you mark your lines as mirror images on each end panel.  I made the mistake of marking them the same and had to re-do it.

See how the side panels are mirror images of each other?  The top slot goes all the way from front to back for the top to fit into.  I also trimmed 3/16" of foam from the bottom edge of each panel for the bottom to fit into.

I used my quilting ruler as a guide when cutting with the craft knife which makes it really easy to line everything up.  I tried a rotary cutter, and it didn't work, so craft knife it was.  You will go through several blades as they tend to dull quickly.  If you find that the foam pulls a little, and you aren't getting a clean cut, it's time to get a new blade.  I used at least 3 blades for this project.

Now it is time to cut holes in the shelves for the vertical supports to fit through.  The supports are a little less than 4" apart.  (This is because the end of each shelf goes into slots on the side panels 3/16" on each end.)  I measured my center line first - 12" from one end, then measured a tiny bit less than 4" for each of the other supports.  Each slot is 1 1/4" long and a little less than 3/16" wide and centered in the shelf (1 1/4" from both the front and back).  This time you will want to cut all the way through the foam board to make a hole.  This is where the first dose of patience comes in.  It takes a long time to cut those 60 little holes!

You will need to cut holes in the bottom panel in the same way.  Just start the slot 1 1/4" from the back edge, and they will all line up.

The holes are centered on each shelf, but are 1 1/4" from the back edge of the bottom panel.  See how they will all line up when assembled?

Now summon up some courage and patience, because it is time to start assembling.  This is the most rewarding part, though, and you will be so excited when you see it start to take shape!

I did a dry run first, without hot glue, just to make sure it was going to fit together.  Once I was satisfied with a few shelves in place, I disassembled it and started over with hot glue.  I used a high heat glue gun.  You have to act quickly, and have a few fractions of a second more to work with when you use high heat vs. low heat.  You could try a low heat gun if you already have it, but even the high heat started to set before I was ready toward the end of assembly.

Working one at a time, place a small bead of glue around the very bottom of each vertical support strip, and place into the slots on the bottom panel.  (Be sure to lift it up after every time to make sure you don't glue your project to the table.  Don't ask me how I know to do that!)

This is what you should have at this point.

Now it is time to slide each shelf onto the supports.  I tested most of the slots in the shelf, but if they are a little tight, just take it slow and easy pushing them down.  After you get each shelf in place, measure all the way around to make sure it is level.  Making sure they are evenly spaced is very important!  I used the end panels as a guide for placement. Then run a small bead of glue around the vertical support/shelf junction.  Add one shelf at a time, making sure it is spaced correctly before glueing.

Here, I have used the end panels as a spacing guide.  Do not glue the end panels in place yet.  You will do that after all the shelves are in place.

Continue adding shelves until they are all on the vertical supports.  Here is where you will need your second dose of patience.  You are going to glue each end panel on the shelves, and you must act very quickly once you apply the hot glue.  I started each shelf about an inch or so into its corresponding slot, quickly ran a bead of glue in all the remaining slot areas, then carefully slid the panel the rest of the way onto the shelves.  Do this for both end panels.

Now you will be ready to attach the top.  I put glue in each end panel slot and on the top of each vertical support, and set the top in place.  The front strip on the little top shelf measures 7/8" x 23 5/8".  Glue it in place, and all that is left is the back panel.

I glued the back on in two steps by running glue on one side edge and only halfway across the top and bottom edges before putting the back in place.  Then I ran glue on the remaining edges to attach the remaining half.

Ta-da!  Wasn't that fun?  You should be proud of yourself.  I know I was!

If you run into any problems, or can't make sense of my directions, please let me know and I will try to help.

And just because, I have to say this...  This is my own original design, including the measurements and directions.  Please feel free to use it to make your own projects, but please don't copy or sell it for your own profit.  Thank you.

I will be posting directions for my Copic marker cubbies next, and they are a lot less complicated.  If you are going to make both, I would start with the Copic cubby, then tackle the ink pad holder.

Guess I should have posted directions for them first.  What was I thinking?!  Sheesh!

Thanks again for your interest, and I'll be back soon with Copic cubby directions.


Foam Board Dimensions are Coming

Thanks for the overwhelming response and interest in my foam board projects!  I am humbled.  I will try to get all the dimensions and assembly directions posted later today, but it may not happen until Saturday evening.  We have an extremely busy weekend coming up and I have a million and one things to do, and a million and two places to be.

I'm sure you can relate.

Thanks for your patience.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Forced Card

I'm still in my creative funk, but made myself stamp something tonight.  Susan's OLW7 challenge this week was really a test for me.  I almost never use all those little stamps that come in sets.  I'm all about the main image and coloring, so it was really a challenge for me to use an accessory stamp as my focal point.  The challenge was repetition, and although I could have stamped a main flower image repeatedly (tried it and it didn't work), I went for the little stamp.

Even though this was forced, I like the way it turned out.  I used the CM curvy cutter thingy as a template and drew a light pencil line where I wanted the images to go.  Then I curved the sentiment on my stamping block to match.  I added a little Sakura gelly roll pen for a little sparkle.

Supplies used:
Stamps - hello again, Inkadinkado sentiment
Paper - GKD PL white
Ink - regal rose, Pacific point, summer sun, wasabi, Memento black
Accessories - Sakura gelly roll pen (clear star), CM curvy cutter thingy

Can you believe I didn't use my SAMJ?  I can't remember the last time I didn't use it!

This was truly a challenge for me, and now I must go to bed before my head explodes from thinking too much!